SEAFDEC PROGRAMS OF ACTIVITIES IN 2018
7. Special Projects
7.1 Fisheries and Habitat Management, Climate Change and Social Well- being in Southeast Asia
SEAFDEC has been implementing the Project “Fisheries and Habitat Management, Climate Change and Social Well-being in Southeast Asia” with support from the Government of Sweden, of which the original project period of five years from January 2013 to December 2017 was extended for two years until 31 December 2019. Also known as the SEAFDEC- Sweden Project, it has the overall objective of achieving sustainable use of aquatic resources and reducing the vulnerability of coastal/rural (fishing) communities in the ASEAN region.
Under the Project, several activities have been implemented to build the capacity of the AMSs to be able to achieve the following specific output objectives:
Output objective 1 Capacity built for integration of habitat & fisheries management and adaptation to climate change
Output objective 2 Capacity built and systems improved for the management of fishing capacity (monitoring; record and control)
Output objective 3 Capacity built and policy development processes improved for the drafting and implementation of regional & sub-regional agreements
The geographical coverage of this Project encompasses four sub-regions of Southeast Asia, namely: the Andaman Sea, Gulf of Thailand, Mekong River Basin, and Sulu Sulawesi Seas.
In 2018, the activities focused mainly on the establishment of sub-regional agreements or other arrangements of relevance to fisheries and habitat management; management of fishing capacity; and control and reduction of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, particularly in the Gulf of Thailand, Andaman Sea, and the Mekong River Basin. In addition, cross-cutting issues, e.g. gender in fisheries, small-scale fisheries, environmental issues, and climate change and capacity building, have also been integrated throughout the project implementation.
Output objective 1: Capacity built for integration of habitat & fisheries management and adaptation to climate change
o Sustainability of Transboundary Species through the Implementation of the Regional Plan of Action on Sustainable Utilization of Neritic Tunas in the ASEAN Region (RPOA-Neritic Tunas)
In 2018, the SEAFDEC-Sweden Project continued to support the AMSs in building their capacities and knowledge in stock assessment of neritic tunas considered as among the most economically important transboundary species in the region through the Implementation of the “Regional Plan of Action on Sustainable Utilization of Neritic Tunas in the ASEAN (RPOA-Neritic Tunas).” In addition, the population study on longtail tuna (Thunnus tonggol) in the Southeast Asian region, carried out by SEAFDEC since October 2017 was continued in 2018 and upon its completion in September 2018, the results were presented at the National Marine Capture Fisheries Symposium in Penang, Malaysia on 2-3 October 2018, and the 8th International Fisheries Symposium (IFS) in Hat Yai, Thailand on 18-21 November 2018. The results would also be presented at the 5th Scientific Working Group on Neritic Tunas scheduled in January 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand.
In furthering the technical findings from the studies undertaken by SEAFDEC into actual practice, the SEAFDEC-Sweden Project also collaborated with the DOF of Thailand and partners in 2018, specifically with the World Wide Fund for Nature of Thailand (WWF- Thailand) and the Thai Tuna Industry Association for the launching of the “Fishery Improvement Project for Longtail Tuna in the Gulf of Thailand.” The initiative is considered as a benchmark step in strengthening the collective and coordinated efforts by linking government agencies, private sector, NGOs, regional organizations, and stakeholders in achieving the common goal towards the long-term sustainability of longtail tuna resources.
SEAFDEC also followed-up the recommendations made by the SEAFDEC Council during its 50th Meeting in 2018 for the possibility of expanding the activities on neritic tunas to other shared stocks of neritic tunas in the region, i.e. the Indo-Pacific king mackerel (Scomberomorus guttatus) and narrow-barred Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus commerson). The “Practical Workshop on Stock Assessment and Risk Assessment of Indo-Pacific King Mackerel and Narrow-barred Spanish Mackerel in the Southeast Asian Waters” was the organized on 16-20 July 2018 in Samut Prakan, Thailand. Through lectures and practical sessions, the Workshop imparted to the participants knowledge on stock assessment analysis of the Indo-Pacific king mackerel and narrow-barred Spanish mackerel using ASPIC, Kobe plot and Risk Assessment based on the sample data provided by the participating countries.
The Practical Workshop on Stock Assessment and Risk Assessment of Indo-Pacific King Mackerel and Narrow-barred Spanish Mackerel
in the Southeast Asian Waters (16-20 July 2018, Samut Prakan, Thailand)
Tissue sampling of Indo-Pacific mackerel
in Viet Nam Gulf of Thailand Technical Meeting on
Management of Transboundary Species: Indo- Pacific Mackerel (19-20 December 2018, Bangkok,
o Management of Transboundary Resources/Stocks through Sub-regional Approach Also through the SEAFDEC-Sweden Project, the sub-regional approach for management of transboundary resources/stocks of identified species was adopted in the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea Sub-regions. This included the compilation of available information and collection of additional data to support the development of management plans towards the sustainable utilization of the species.
For the Gulf of Thailand Sub-region, the transboundary species targeted were anchovies, mackerels, and blue swimming crab (AIB species). Since 2016, several capacity building activities had been conducted on the species identification and data collection of Indo- Pacific mackerel. In the consultations with countries in the Gulf of Thailand, the workplan in 2018 for DNA collection and analysis for Indo-Pacific mackerel was agreed upon to support better understanding of its stock status. Tissue samples of Indo-Pacific mackerel were collected from Cambodia, Viet Nam, Thailand, and Malaysia from February to April 2018.
Subsequently, the tissue samples were analyzed at the Laboratories of Kasetsart University in Thailand. Completed at the end of 2018, results of the DNA analysis were presented during the “Gulf of Thailand Technical Meeting on Management of Transboundary Species:
Indo-Pacific Mackerel” on 19-20 December 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand.
For blue swimming crab, a SEAFDEC-Sweden Project staff attended the Meeting on Management Plan for Blue Swimming Crab in Thailand organized by WWF-Thailand in Phetchaburi Province on 5-6 February 2018, where the current situation of blue swimming crab fisheries was reviewed together with relevant information such as the existing management measures, adaptation, sustainability focusing environment, social and economic considerations, involvement of fisheries community in management, etc. During the meeting, one of the recommendations made by SEAFDEC to supplement the Fisheries Improvement Project for blue swimming crab in Thailand was the application of traceability system for the species, as this would be one of the most effective management tools for the fishery of this species.
For the Andaman Sea Sub-region, the SEAFDEC-Sweden Project organized two meetings in early 2018 with the objectives of identifying the available data from the concerned countries on the priority species, i.e. anchovies, mackerels and neritic tunas, which was discussed during the “1st Technical Experts Meeting on Management of Transboundary Species for the Northern Andaman Sea” (between Myanmar and Thailand) on 13-14 March 2018;
and the “1st Technical Experts Meeting on Management of Transboundary Species for the Southern Andaman Sea” (among Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand) on 4-5 April 2018, both in Bangkok, Thailand. The information that would be compiled, e.g. the spawning grounds, spawning seasons, biological data and information, habitats and migration patterns, as well as existing fishing regulations, could support the preparation of maps featuring the life cycles of these priority species covering the area from the Northern to Southern Andaman Sea; and such maps could serve as inputs for the development of coordinated fisheries management measures among concerned countries in this sub-region. As a result, the list of maps to be prepared was agreed, and that data on the priority species should be collected and compiled from relevant agencies, research institutions and academes in the respective countries.
These recommendations were followed-up during the subsequent “2nd Technical Experts Meeting on Information Compilation of Transboundary Species as Scientific Basis for National Measures for Southern Andaman Sea” on 10-11 July; and the “2nd Technical Experts Meeting on Management of Transboundary Species for Northern Andaman Sea” on 12-13 July 2018, both in Chonburi Province, Thailand. The information on digital maps showing the spawning grounds, spawning seasons, biological data and information, habitats and migration patterns, as well as existing fishing regulations of anchovies, mackerels and neritic tunas were reviewed during these Meetings. Nevertheless, since the information compiled was still insufficient, the status of these species could not be confirmed while the agreement for appropriate management could not be reached. It was therefore agreed that data collection should be continued and improved in the respective countries.
o Raising Awareness of Local Communities on Habitats and Fishery Resources Enhancement
The SEAFDEC-Sweden Project in collaboration with “Rak Talay Nomklao Conservation Group” and local communities in Laem Klad Sub-district and adjacent areas of Trat Bay in Trat Province, Thailand organized a one-day event on 7 October 2018 to promote habitat restoration and fishery resources enhancement in the area. More than 100 persons representing their respective groups took part in sea grass plantation activity as well as in the preparation and deployment of Fish Enhancing Devices (FEDs). Through this activity, the participants fully recognized the need to enhance the fishery resources and the importance of natural habitats to ensure the sustainability of the livelihoods of people that rely on the sustainable utilization of these fishery resources.
Preparation of FEDs (left), and sea grass plantation (right) as part of the project activities to promote habitat restoration and fisheries resources enhancement
Output Objective2: Capacity built and systems improved for the management of fishing capacity (monitoring; record and control)
o Sharing Information and Knowledge on Monitoring and Control and Combating IUU Fishing Across the Countries
There are several challenges that confront Southeast Asian fisheries, either at the regional or sub-regional levels. These include ensuring the effective monitoring and control of the fishing efforts, confirming the legal status of fishing operations, and making sure that catches are properly landed and recorded for the traceability of fish and fishery products throughout the supply chain. These issues are being addressed by the SEAFDEC-Sweden Project by closely linking to the efforts being exerted by the AMSs, SEAFDEC, as well as the regional/international partners, especially with regards to combating IUU fishing.
For the Gulf of Thailand Sub-region, the SEAFDEC-Sweden Project conducted two bilateral events that address such challenges. These are the “Bilateral Technical Meeting on Effective Fisheries Management between Thailand and Viet Nam” held on 12-13 June 2018 in Da Nang, Viet Nam; and the “2nd Sub-regional Meeting on Effective Fisheries Management between Cambodia and Thailand” held on 29-30 August 2018 in Koh Kong Province, Cambodia. At the sub-regional level, the “7th Meeting of the Gulf of Thailand Sub-region”
was also organized on 1-2 November 2018 in Chonburi, Thailand. During these meetings, information on the respective countries’ legal frameworks had been updated, and the procedures for landing of catch and traceability system applied especially for foreign fishing vessels were established. Discussions were also made on the possibility of and the way forward for the development of MCS networks for the sub-region.
As for the Andaman Sea Sub-region, similar discussion was made during the “4th Meeting of the Andaman Sea Sub-region” organized on 20-21 November 2018 in Thailand.
o Support of the Establishment of Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) Networks In following-up the recommendations from the “1st Sub-regional Consultation on MCS for the Gulf of Thailand” in 2017, the SEAFDEC-Sweden Project stressed on the need to establish the MCS Network(s) as one of the common priorities for the Gulf of Thailand Sub-region to improve transboundary fisheries management and control of fishing efforts
Bilateral Technical Meeting on Effective Fisheries Management between Thailand and Viet Nam
(12-13 June 2018, Da Nang, Viet Nam)
The 2nd Sub-regional Meeting on Effective Fisheries Management between Cambodia and Thailand (29-30 August 2018, Koh Kong Province,
The National Consultation on MCS
hosted by the Fisheries Administration of Cambodia on 28 August 2018
and surveillance across countries in the sub-region. As a result from such Consultation, the SEAFDEC-Sweden Project identified the procedures to support the establishment of sub- regional MCS body which include: 1) national consultation(s); 2) sub-regional meeting(s);
and 3) establishment of the sub-regional MCS network.
For the Gulf of Thailand Sub-region, National Consultations were organized in Thailand in July 2018, and in Cambodia on 28 August 2018. Based on the results from these consultations, the “2nd Sub-regional Consultation on MCS for the Gulf of Thailand” will be organized in 2019.
Meanwhile, for the Andaman Sea Sub-region, the SEAFDEC-Sweden Project organized the
“Meeting on the Development of a Sub-regional Cooperation on Monitoring, Control and Surveillance in Fisheries in the Northern Andaman Sea” on 24-25 July 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand. With officers from relevant national agencies of Thailand and Myanmar in attendance, such as those from the port authorities, fisheries, customs and trade, enforcement authorities, immigration, and labor, the Meeting discussed the common concerns and issues that require cooperation, including the need for information sharing as basis for establishing an MCS network between these two countries. Representatives from Thailand and Myanmar also agreed to enhance the collaboration among concerned national agencies within their respective mandates and responsibilities, and to further strengthen such cooperation for the establishment of the sub-regional MCS network. At the subsequent “4th Meeting of the Andaman Sea Sub-region” on 20-21 November 2018 in Thailand, the countries in this sub-region provided updated information on their existing national MCS system, while the results of the discussion made during the “Meeting on Sub- regional Cooperation on MCS in the Northern Andaman Sea” were also reported. While confirming on the plan to organize a similar meeting on MCS network for the Southern Andaman Sea (among Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand) in 2019, the Meeting agreed that MCS network coordination should be established to cover the whole area of the Andaman Sea sub-region.
Meeting on the Development of a Sub-regional Cooperation on MCS in Fisheries in the Northern Andaman Sea (24-25 July 2018, Bangkok, Thailand)
The 4th Meeting of the Andaman Sea Sub-region (20-21 November 2018, Bangkok, Thailand) Output Objective 3: Capacity built and policy development processes improved for the drafting and implementation of regional & sub-regional agreements
o Strengthening the Sub-regional Cooperation in Target Sub-regions
Discussions on transboundary and sub-regional cooperation on fisheries and habitat management, including measures to monitor and control fishing efforts and landings across borders had progressed in 2018. While the activities for the Gulf of Thailand and Andaman Sea Sub-regions were directly implemented through the SEAFDEC-Sweden Project, for the Mekong River Basin and the Sulu-Sulawesi Seas Sub-regions, initiatives were carried out by relevant partners in these areas, such as the Mekong River Commission (MRC), the USAID- Oceans and Fisheries Partnership (USAID-Oceans), and the Corral Triangle Initiatives on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security (CTI-CFF), respectively.
For activities in the Gulf of Thailand Sub-region, as previously recommended by the
“6th Meeting of the Gulf of Thailand Sub-region” in 2017, the mechanism for bilateral consultations was maintained as it enables the countries to discuss the specific issues relevant to the particular areas. In 2018, the Project convened the “Bilateral Technical Meeting on Effective Fisheries Management between Thailand and Viet Nam” on 12-23 June 2018 in Danang, Viet Nam, followed by the “2nd Sub-regional Meeting on Effective Fisheries Management between Cambodia and Thailand” on 29-30 August 2018 in Koh
Conduct of fishing gear surveys in
Bo Keo, Lao PDR Bilateral Technical Meeting on Effective Fisheries Management between Lao PDR and Thailand (29-30 October 2018, Chiang Rai Province, Thailand) Kong, Cambodia. In addition, during the “7th Meeting of the Gulf of Thailand Sub-region”
organized on 1-2 November 2018, discussion and agreement were made on the need for continued and strengthened Gulf of Thailand sub-regional information sharing in support of the management of transboundary fish stocks, monitoring and management of fishing capacity and combating illegal fishing, as well as follow-up on the progress of the initiative to establish MCS networks by building upon the existing national MCS mechanisms.
For the Andaman Sea Sub-region, the Project successfully facilitated the discussion between Thailand and Myanmar in the Northern Andaman Sea on several areas of mutual interest, including the aspects on management of transboundary stocks, combating IUU fishing, and the establishment of sub-regional MCS coordination efforts. In parallel with the activities in the Northern Andaman Sea, the Project also facilitated dialogues for the countries around the Southern Andaman Sea, namely Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, by conducting meetings for the compilation of available information that form the basis for the development of the digitized maps of spawning grounds, nursery grounds, migration patterns and fishing areas of anchovies, mackerels and neritic tunas. The Project also facilitated the consultation on the MCS networking in the Southern Andaman, the process of which is still on-going. The relevant efforts were reported to the “4th Meeting of the Andaman Sea Sub-region” on 20-21 November 2018 in Thailand.
For the Mekong River Basin Sub-region, the activities focused on enhancing the coordination between Lao PDR and Thailand. In 2018, fishing gear surveys were conducted in Bo Keo, Lao PDR, and Chiang Rai Province, Thailand, the results of which were presented and discussed during the “Bilateral Technical Meeting on Effective Fisheries Management between Lao PDR and Thailand” on 29-30 October 2018 in Chiang Rai Province, Thailand, as these could serve as basis for promoting cooperation between the two countries in monitoring and control of fishing in the area, and balancing the use of available resources with the need for protection of critical habitats. The Meeting also provided directions for strengthening the transboundary resources management and conservation including monitoring and control of fishing efforts corresponding to the existing fishing efforts and availability of resources in Bo Keo and Chiang Rai.
For the Sulu-Sulawesi Seas Sub-region, the project in 2018 continued to keep track of the initiatives supported through the CTI-CFF and the USAID Oceans. Meetings were regularly held with USAID Oceans to acquire updates on the progress and the planned future activities.
Regional Dialogue on Gender Dimension in Coastal and Fisheries Resources Management in South Asia and Southeast Asia: Opportunities and Challenges
(15-16 November 2018, Bangkok, Thailand)
o Gender and Social Development and Promotion of the Small-scale Fisheries Guidelines
In 2018, the Project made good progress in the integration of gender in project implementation, provision of institutional capacity building at SEAFDEC, and enhancing the cooperation with other partners toward the promotion of gender equality in the fisheries sector.
The Regional Gender Study which commenced in 2017 as a joint effort of the Mangroves for the Future (MFF), Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), and SEAFDEC-Sweden Project was successfully completed in 2018. Data collection on gender patterns in coastal and marine resources management was undertaken in Kep Province of Cambodia, Trat Province of Thailand, and in Kaw Thaung Province of Myanmar. Results of the study were presented during the “Regional Dialogue on Gender Dimension in Coastal and Fisheries Resources Management in South Asia and Southeast Asia: Opportunities and Challenges” on 15-16 November 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand. While the Study has deepened the understanding on the gender dimension in coastal and fisheries resources management, during the Regional Dialogue, discussion was also made on how structural challenges are preventing the equitable opportunities for men and women in South Asia and Southeast Asia.
The FAO Gender Focal Persons from FAO/Rome and FAO/Regional Office in Bangkok attending the Regional Dialogue also shared their knowledge on gender-equity in small- scale fisheries by enhancing the understanding of their gender dimensions, with focus on the specific roles and conditions of women in the small-scale fisheries sub-sector. The resource person from Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (WOCAN) also shared the information regarding the “W+ Standard” which can be applied to projects or programs to increase rigor and accountability of gender programs, incentivize new investments in women’s empowerment, and create a market- based results-based financing mechanism.